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Organised gangs in Kibera hired by politicians, business people

18 October 2014, 10:40 Mike Munga

Nairobi - If you are a Nairobian living in Kibera slum and its surroundings, or planning to visit the place soon, then you have a reason to worry about if the recent survey by the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Management is something to go by.

The report indicates that crime is a major peace and security concern in the major urban areas in the country, particularly in the slums.

Youth unemployment, poverty, illicit brews and drug abuse are believed to be the possible causes.

The report indicates that Kibera slum has six organised criminal groups performing many functions at the slum.

Some of these groups are Mungiki who collect fee from residents for protection, Kongo boys who are hired by politicians and business people to commit atrocities, and five brothers who are hired by politicians and business people to rob business rivals and also disrupt rallies.

Extortion, levying of protection fees, muggings, heckling and disruption of political rallies and events, trafficking of drugs and kidnappings are some of the common crimes committed by the groups.

Though the report indicates that the criminals do this because of perceived oppression and frustration in the job market, they have no intentions of harming unless the victim is not willing to cooperate.

The report further indicates that Kibera has 17 hotspots of assault, rape and other petty crimes.

They are among others; Darajani found along the railway line, Laini Saba Playing ground, Forest between Kibera and Ngong Road and behind Raila Education Centre.

The survey which also included Mishomoroni in Mombasa, Manyatta in Kisumu and Bondeni in Nakuru, found that theft was the main type of crime across the sampled areas at 35 percent. Mugging came second at 23 percent, robbery 16 percent while burglary stood at 11 percent.

However, the public has a role to play in ensuring the slum is safe by stepping up collaboration with police officers in detecting and reporting crime as well as avoiding buying or trading in stolen properties.

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